Wisc. vote should serve as a wake-up call to Mich. labor - KMSP-TV

Wisc. vote should serve as a wake-up call to Mich. labor

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Normally when a political party scores a big win, as the GOP did on Tuesday in Wisconsin, the party tries to take advantage of the momentum that victory produces.

So you would think here in Michigan, the anti-union cabal would be hot to trot on Right to Work legislation. Think again.

There will be no political bounce out of the Cheese state because the backer of RTW legislation here has slapped the issue on hold until November.

Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake) concedes the gross failure by organized labor to recall Gov. Scott Walker has created a new "wind in our sails" on the "work freedom issue" but it would be a waste of time, he concludes, to push anything now.

How's that?

"We put the pause button on our Right to Work effort to make sure we defeat that ballot initiative," he explains. "That" ballot initiative, of course, is the petition drive now underway as labor in this state tries to bake into the state constitution the very collective bargaining rights that Gov. Walker was so successful in eliminating across the lake.

"There's no reason for us to spend energy and time," Mr. RTW goes on, "on passing a Right to Work law today if it's going to be overturned by a ballot initiative. So we need to make sure that doesn't happen.'

The Wisconsin vote should serve as a wake-up call for Michigan labor which will likely have to redouble its efforts to pass this thing. As they discovered in Wisconsin, only about 40 percent of the voters favored collective bargaining and you don't pass ballot plans with 40 percent of the vote.

Of course you could argue Michigan is not like Wisconsin, but what if it is?

So Mr. Shirkey and company will momentarily forget about RTW and work on doing to labor here what the voters did to labor in Wisconsin.

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